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The Link Between Multiple Sclerosis and Drop Foot

The Link Between Multiple Sclerosis and Drop Foot

If you’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the news can be overwhelming. You begin to wonder about all the ways your physical health will eventually succumb to the progression of this aggressive disease — and you may have to add drop foot to your list of worries. 

Fortunately, you have access to our team of experts at US Neuropathy Centers

In addition to bringing you the best, most advanced treatments, Stephen Barrett, DPM, and Sequioa DuCasse, DPM, along with our partnering providers, are dedicated to helping you understand every aspect of your health conditions. 

In this blog, we dive deeper into the connection between multiple sclerosis and drop foot, so you can take steps to get the care you need. 

The basics of multiple sclerosis

To understand multiple sclerosis, you have to look closely at your central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which your immune system attacks the casing (myelin sheath) that covers the nerves in your spinal cord and brain. 

The myelin sheath performs a number of duties, namely protecting your nerves and facilitating quick and effective transmission of electrical impulses. Without the myelin sheath, your nerves suffer permanent damage and/or deterioration. 

Multiple sclerosis is a complicated condition, and unfortunately, no one quite knows what causes it. Many point to certain risk factors, including age, race, sex, nutrient deficiencies, and even smoking. 

No two people experience multiple sclerosis the same way, but some of the most common symptoms include:

Multiple sclerosis can also trigger other conditions, including drop foot. Here’s what you should know about how the two are linked. 

Multiple sclerosis and drop foot

Drop foot often occurs as a result of compression in the nerve that controls your ability to lift your leg (peroneal nerve), but multiple sclerosis-related drop foot is slightly different. 

In multiple sclerosis, drop foot stems from weakness in the ankle or disruption in the nerve pathway to and from your brain, rather than the nerves within your leg muscles. 

The result is poor coordination in your leg and ankle, which makes it difficult to lift your foot at the correct angle. 

To make matters worse, other multiple sclerosis symptoms can exacerbate your gait problems. The numbness and impaired sensation in your feet can make it difficult for you to feel the floor as you walk. Muscle weakness and spasms can cause trouble in your lower extremities and contribute to drop foot. 

Your next steps

We have years of experience addressing drop foot, and no matter where it comes from, our lineup of treatments can help you. Depending on your specific situation, we may recommend one or more of the following:

Our team also walks you through a few practical strategies that can help you avoid falling or tripping. For instance, you should consider clearing your floors of clutter, rugs, and cords that increase your chances of falling. 

Multiple sclerosis and the symptoms it causes are certainly life-changing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find relief through treatment. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone today at our Marietta, Georgia, center.

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